A Better Understanding of Tooth Loss

The more you know about your teeth, the better care you can give them. For instance, you brush and floss your teeth twice every day because you know the plaque that gathers on them can lead to dental diseases. What you don’t know, however, can also influence how you care for your smile. If you thought that tooth loss is inevitable as you grow older, then you wouldn’t know to take steps to prevent it.

It Isn’t Natural, You Know

The reason we only grow one set of permanent teeth is because they’re meant to last a lifetime; hence the moniker, “permanent teeth.” Some things can’t be prevented, like teeth stains from a lifetime of use, or even some instances of tooth loss, such as accidental trauma. For the most part, though, tooth loss is an extreme consequence of poor hygiene, resulting from the severe progression of a dental disease.

The Why’s and How’s

Whether a tooth is lost or requires an extraction, the reason is because the tooth itself, or the structures that support it, are too damaged or diseased to survive. Gum disease is the most frequent reason for adults losing teeth, but there are many other causes, each with their own approach to causing tooth loss.

Gum Disease

It doesn’t affect your teeth’s structures, but gum disease is responsible for the most lost teeth because it destroys the gums and jawbone that support them. The disease is actually a bacterial infection in your periodontal tissue that incites rampant inflammation. Left unchecked, the excessive swelling can destroy the structures that surround your teeth’s roots.

Tooth Decay

If you’ve ever had a cavity, then you probably know that tooth decay hurts as it eats away your tooth’s structure. Also a bacterial infection, tooth decay starts on your tooth’s surface and works its way towards the nerves and blood vessels at its center. If tooth decay destroys enough of your tooth, it may have to be extracted and replaced to restore your mouth’s function and stop the spread of infection.

Dental Trauma

When your tooth sustains enough force, it can damage the ligaments that hold the root steady within your jawbone. Dental trauma might knock your tooth out completely, or loosen it enough to compromise its integrity. In many cases, the tooth can’t be saved or replanted (if knocked out), and replacing it may be vital to the rest of your oral health.


As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.